Star Walk

Theatre, Star Walk, Deceased

Fran Dowie's grandfather Frank W. Dowie was the originator of the first minstrel show to perform at the London Palladium in the early 1900's. Fran appeared at the age of 12 with Frank Dowie, his father, as "Frank and Francis" on the Orpheum stage in a Vaudeville act. Fran spent his life in various aspects of show business. He toured the world with his shows and, for eighteen summers, devised, acted and directed productions at the Theatre Royal in Barkerville, the world famous restored ghost town in British Columbia.

For 25 years he included giant puppets in his professional productions in one form or another. His giant puppets appeared throughout North America on T.V. and were featured at several festivals of the Puppeteers of America. As a teacher and puppet specialist he conducted workshops and shows for the Department of Continuing Education at the University of British Columbia, at San Luis Obispo and Asilomar Conference Center in California. He also operated puppets for the B.B. Beagle T.V. show in Hollywood. Fran was married to and worked with two remarkable women, both wonderful actresses, first the delightful Candy Cane, who played the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at the Vancouver Playhouse for Malcolm Black, and then Louise Glennie who worked with Fran in Barkerville for many years. He delighted thousands of children for years with his lively portrayal of Santa Claus and trained many other professional Santas. Fran was one of the first performers to be selected for the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame STARWALK. Fran Dowie died on December 21st, 2006.

(Candy Kane was born on September 17, 1922 in Ottawa, Ontario)

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